CONCORD, N.C. -- Alex Bowman has proven his lone victory at Chicagoland last season was no fluke after he cruised to a dominant win in Fontana, California Sunday.
The driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE led all drivers for more than half the race, crossing the finish line several car lengths ahead of second place.
Bowman said this win was just as exciting as his first one because it proves that he's a mainstay within the Cup Series.
"The first one was a real enjoyable experience and then we sucked for six months," Bowman said. "We started this year so strong. I feel like I've got a lot on my side that I'm doing better. My life has gotten a lot more organized than it was then.
"(Crew chief) Greg (Ives) and the guys are just on point. We've unloaded the last two weeks and I don't think we have had to make a change to the race car from the way it came off the truck. That makes my job a lot easier. I'm just so proud of this team. Everyone at Hendrick Motorsports. Hendrick horsepower under the hood. The whole shop back home. They work their butts off. We've put a lot of effort in this new car and it is obviously working out really well."
With the victory, Bowman is the 18th driver to win at Auto Club Speedway and the 14th driver with multiple wins for Hendrick Motorsports.
He also secured the 11th Auto Club Speedway win for the organization, the most for any racing company, and it's the third time Hendrick Motorsports got its first win of the season in Fontana.
There was some concern for Bowman as he headed down the final stretch due to the wear and tear on his right rear tire. But Bowman said he made sure to save some of the rubber and keep consistent, which helped get him his win.
When asked what this win means in terms of a contract, Bowman said every year is a contract year and he still needs to go out and win as much as possible.
"I'm as motivated as ever, doing everything I can to try and be the best on and off the racetrack as I can be," he said after the race. "Hendrick Motorsports is where I want to be. It's where I want to stay for the rest of my career."
The next stop for Bowman might not be at his hometown track in Phoenix next week, but at a tattoo parlor to get some permanent ink as another way to celebrate his crushing victory.
"So one of my good buddies, Aaron Gillespie, he's a drummer in Underoath. He was in Paramour for a little while. It's kind of a big deal if you're into that scene. We made a bet at Daytona. Pretty much everybody from Underoath was at Daytona. We made a bet that if I won, we were getting 88 tattoos, and then it just never stopped," Bowman explained.
"We've been talking about it for the last two weeks. Apparently I have to get a neck tattoo, which I'm not really sure that that's going to happen or not, but yeah, next time we're all together, I guess we're all going to get tattoos."